Sound Masking

Creating healthy inspiring spaces for
people to live, work, and gather.

Acoustics + Vibration

Sound Masking for Productivity, Privacy, and Wellness

Auxia Design helps stakeholders successfully implement sound masking systems to improve productivity, wellness, privacy, and occupant satisfaction. These systems can be particularly effective in offices, healthcare facilities, museums, and libraries.

Architectural approaches in modern workplaces, libraries, and healthcare facilities seek to maximize flexibility, occupant connection, natural light, and views to the outdoors. While desirable, these aims often involve the removal of barriers that traditionally contained noise. Untreated, this situation can result in spaces where occupants are constantly disrupted, stressed, and unproductive due to a lack of privacy, respite, and the ability to focus. Sound masking systems can greatly improve this situation, but only when they are used as a supplement to carefully considered architectural acoustics, including well-designed finishes, layouts, furniture, and sound isolation. Sound masking simply cannot benefit occupants with close-proximity and line-of-sight to others, especially in environments with excessive reverberant noise.

Modern networked sound masking systems offer ease of installation, tuning, flexibility, and deployment; however, a truly successful outcome requires the input of a trained acoustician to specify, monitor, and commission the system.


Those familiar with sound masking have undoubtedly run across numerous systems that failed to effectively mask speech or were deemed too noisy and simply turned off. A successful sound masking system deployment must:

  • Go beyond turn-key system components and consider the overall acoustic environment, including a facility’s layout, finishes, intended use, and other noise sources like building systems.

  • Strike a balance between masking speech and occupant comfort. Depending on the acoustic environment and programming of each space, this balance will change throughout a facility and the sound masking spectra must be varied accordingly. This consideration is not adequately addressed with turn-key solutions that employ a manufacturer’s default settings. The acoustic spectrum generated by a sound masking system must be carefully tuned in each space.

  • Ensure that the installed system is generating the appropriate masking signal – one that’s properly tuned, spatially consistent, and unnoticeable to occupants. Sound masking is not simply white noise, it is a carefully tuned acoustic spectrum that’s designed to mask unwanted speech and other distractions, while remaining comfortable to occupants.

There are a number of excellent sound masking systems on the market that are capable of achieve these goals; however, a successful outcome is ensured when stakeholders engage an independent representative to oversee the specification, deployment, and commissioning of their sound masking system.

Related Considerations: